Legal News and Blog

Scary Video of Distracted Teen Drivers Shows What Actually Happens Before a Crash …

Check out this scary video showing real car accidents caused by distracted teen drivers. This video was put together from a recent traffic study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study used several video cameras actually placed inside cars driven by teen drivers, so that at the same time, you can see both the road ahead of the car, and what the driver is doing inside the vehicle.

The study showed that the driver was distracted in 58% of crashes overall. Many people think that distracted driving only happens when someone is talking on their cell phone, and cell phone use was involved in 12% of the crashes in this study. But the most common distracting behavior related to car accidents in this study was when the driver was talking or otherwise interacting with a passenger in the car, which accounted for 15% of all crashes observed.

Drivers who volunteered to have the video cameras installed got a reduction in their car insurance premiums, so these teen drivers knew that they were being recorded, but still failed to pay attention to the road. Drivers who were using a cell phone prior to a crash weren’t even looking at the road for an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final 6 seconds before the crash. Just think how bad distracted driving might be with drivers who aren’t being recorded. Although this study focused on teen drivers, anyone who spends any time on the road knows that this problem isn’t just limited to teens.

For more information on this study, check out the full report here or a brief fact sheet here. For parents of teen drivers, this is information definitely worth sharing with your children.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact The Ashton Firm to protect your legal rights.

Red-Light Camera Debate Is a Stew of Anger, Revenue and Safety – NYTimes.com

According to this article in the New York Times, Red-Light Camera Debate Is a Stew of Anger, Revenue and Safety, tickets generated by red light cameras generate millions of dollars in revenue for cities, although any driver who has received one of these tickets is certainly not a fan of the technology.  But a number of studies have shown that one benefit of red light cameras is that they lead to an overall decrease in the total number of traffic accidents.

Philadelphia currently has 28 red light cameras.  In 2011, a study of 10 cameras which had been installed for three years or more indicated that there was a 24 percent decrease in overall accidents at those intersections.  Interestingly, another study showed that although the number of overall accidents at intersections with red light cameras decreased, the number of rear-end collisions increased by 15 percent.

One thing the article doesn’t mention is that in accidents where these collisions occur, it may now be possible to get photo evidence of the scene of the crash.  Evidence from red light cameras, or from video surveillance systems of local businesses, can be crucial to proving who was at fault in a motor vehicle collision.  But these surveillance systems typically only store video for a limited time, so it’s important to obtain any photos or video quickly, before the evidence may be lost forever.  If you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact The Ashton Firm today to learn how to protect your legal rights.

Another Philly property tax increase????

Within just the past couple of years, thousands of property owners in Philadelphia saw significant tax increases, with some property tax bills more than doubling from one year to the next.  Now, according to this article, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter proposes hiking property taxes by an additional 9.3 percent.

But you should know that just because your property taxes were raised, that doesn’t mean that you are without recourse.  If you would like more information about appealing your property taxes, contact The Ashton Firm, LLC today!